How did you get started in drag racing and how long have you been racing?
I started drag racing when I was 11 years old in a junior dragster. My father David Ray, was a very successful mud racer, so I grew up traveling and watching him mud race in the U.S. and Canada. He knew I had an interest in driving at a very young age, which is when he introduced me to drag racing, and I have loved it ever since. Once I turned sixteen, I was able to move up to a door car. Prior to racing my Pro Mod, I was competing in Super Street, which is a 10.90 index class. I would travel with my father, who was drag racing a Top Alcohol Funny Car in both IHRA and NHRA racetracks throughout the Country.
In a predominantly male sport are you treated fairly / equally by your fellow male racers?
I race with the Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Club, and they are all truly wonderful people. Even though I am the only female racer in the club, they all treat me and my family with the upmost respect. They know I am just as competitive as any male racer out there. I feel I have earned my place, and they know that I am a true competitor.
What are the top 3 things that you enjoy the most about drag racing?
1. Drag racing is such a family bonding sport, and I truly feel this sport has made my family and I closer than I could have ever imagined. We have had such wonderful times together drag racing over the years, and I would not change it for the world. With drag racing, I was even able to meet my husband, and we now all race together as one big family!
2. Being able to meet all the wonderful people throughout the country. Whether it's fans or other team members, we have made some really great friends over the years.
3. Speed and the adrenaline! I am truly thankful for having the opportunity to race as fast as I do, and l owe it all to my parents.
Recently woman have been dominating the national drag racing circuit. What do you think is the reason for this?
Just like in any sport, it takes time to get a good working team in order with a good running car. For us, it's taken a couple of years to get the car running competitive and with more experience behind the wheel we are now a successful race team. Women in drag racing is certainly becoming more popular and you'll find that in the future it will mostly consist of women who have made there way up to the Pro level, starting at junior dragsters!
Who is your favorite female racer and why?
I have always admired both Shirley Muldowney and Bunny Burkett, as they have certainly made a female impact in drag racing. They do so much for the sport, and it's fantastic to see how involved they still are with drag racing, even though they're not racing anymore. I'd love to be an idle like either of these women and my hats off for their amazing success. They did not need someone famous or someone with a pocket full of cash to make themselves a star. They used their family and talent to get where they are today, and I truly admire that and hope to follow their footsteps to such success.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank for helping you get started into drag racing?
l owe my father and mother everything for introducing me to drag racing and allowing me to grow up racing, especially a Pro Mod. I know it can't be easy watching their daughter exceed over 237mph, but I am thankful for it! They raised me right, and my father is the best teacher there is. I've learned everything from him, and I will only continue to grow and become a better driver as the years go by. I know that things will always be changing, but I will always do my best to make my family proud. I could not be racing without their support and help. My family is not just my parents, but my husband Jared Kinson and our good friends Darrin Tibbits and Bob Beam. I hope to be racing Pro Mod for a long time and hopefully become known worldwide. If a sponsorship happens to come our way, I know we will be even more successful then we already are. Mv father Is the hardest working person I know, and a sponsorship would help us in more ways than one.
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